Former Lusaka Province minister Bowman Lusambo says Local Government minister Garry Nkombo is one of the most hard working Cabinet Ministers in the UPND administration, and has been making decisions in public interest while the other ministers are being robotic and waiting for the President to do the work for them.
Speaking through an interview Lusambo said the Nkombo was not being governed by politics in the decisions he was making.
“For me, minister Garry Nkombo is one of the most hard working ministers in the UPND administration. And the decisions that he has been making regarding the keep Zambia clean, green and healthy are what I would call mistakes that are in the interest of public because they are meant to bring sanity in Lusaka district and other districts across the country. These decisions that my brother Garry Nkombo has been making are in public interest, but not in political interest. We tried that with Miles Sampa but we pulled out because of political interests,” Lusambo said. “And a minister who makes a certain decision and the President says that you have made this decision in the execution of your duties, but you have made it at a wrong time, is a good minister. My only advice to my brother Garry Nkombo is that he should be consulting other stakeholders and the local authority. He should take time to consult the current mayor Chilando Chitangala. I used to consult her when I was Lusaka Province minister and she proved to be very instrumental.”
However, Lusambo said that most of the Cabinet Ministers serving in the UPND administration are robots who are underperforming.
Lusambo, who is also former Kabushi member of parliament, said that President Hakainde Hichilema is bound to fail if he maintains robot Cabinet Ministers that have failed to buy into his vision.
He said that President Hichilema needs a team of Cabinet Ministers that would buy into his vision so that he can deliver on his campaign promises.
“God created this country called Zambia and gave authority to Zambians to govern themselves and delegated that authority to the President. And the Head of State, in turn, delegates his authority to Cabinet Ministers, permanent secretaries, district commissioners and technocrats. But what we are witnessing in this country today is unprecedented,” Lusambo explained. “I will pick the agriculture sector, for example, where it had to take the entire President to explain to the Zambian people about the delayed distribution of fertiliser and gave assurance to the people of Zambia. I was touched when the President said that on top we are talking but on the ground things are not working out. That only goes to show that the minister of agriculture and the permanent secretary have failed. And at the peak of load shedding it had to take the President to conduct a fact finding mission to Maamba Collieries and Kariba North bank and yet the director at ZESCO, the minister of energy and his permanent secretary knew what was going on. All they needed to do was to face the Zambian people and explain these things. Then you have Frank Tayali as minister of Transport and Logistics who is always fighting stakeholders in that sector. These are just examples of failed ministers and the least is endless. Most of the Cabinet Ministers serving in the UPND administration are robots who have failed to buy into President Hakainde Hichilema’s vision and are now exposed that they are underperforming. Governance is not child’s play. Governance calls for hard work. If the President Hakainde Hichilema maintains robot ministers, he is bound to fail.”
Lusambo said that while in opposition President Hichilema demonstrated that he had good ideas and if well executed they can change the lives of the Zambian people.
He said that the country cannot continue spending tax payers’ money on underperforming ministers.
“President Hakainde Hichilema had demonstrated that he had good ideas on how to improve the lives of the people in the country. And you can’t tell me that all of the sudden those ideas have disappeared. It is simply tells you that he has underperforming ministers who are just robots. How can you justify giving tax payers’ money to ministers that are not working? How? The country is too big for the President to be everywhere. You will kill the President with pressure,” Lusambo said.
He urged President Hichilema to make reshuffles to his Cabinet before it is too late.
“For minister Reuben Mtolo Phiri, the Ministry of Agriculture is too big for him and he has failed to settle in that position. He should be sent to Luapula, Muchinga or Lusaka Province as minister; if President Hakainde Hichilema wants to maintain him. Energy minister Peter Kapala should go back to the corporate world – he is a nominated member of parliament and is not in that position by virtue of holding a Constituency. Let him establish an engineering consultancy firm so that we can be consulting him. Frank Tayali should be Copperbelt Province minister so that he can be politicking because even in Ndola Central he is losing grip,” said Lusambo. “It doesn’t matter if you are a son to the President, brother or brother in-law to the Head of State; if you are underperforming you have to be kicked out. There are no two ways about it. And this is the right time. And the earlier the President realises the better.”